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Alcohol Prohibition of 1927

[Summary]Prohibition in the United States Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine brewery during the Prohibition era Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sal

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Prohibition in the United States

Detroit police inspecting equipment found in a clandestine brewery during the Prohibition era

Prohibition in the United States was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation and sale of alcoholic beverages that remained in place from 1920 to 1933. During the 19th century, alcoholism, family violence, and saloon-based political corruption led activists, led by pietistic Protestants, to end the liquor (and beer) trade to cure the ill society and weaken the political opposition. Among other things, this led many communities in the late 19th and early 20th century to introduce alcohol prohibition, with the subsequent enforcement in law becoming a hotly debated issue. Prohibition supporters, called drys, presented it as a victory for public morals and health.

Digital History

At midnight, January 16, 1920, the United States went dry; breweries, distilleries, and saloons were forced to close their doors.

Led by the Anti-Saloon League and the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the dry forces had triumphed by linking Prohibition to a variety of Progressive era social causes. Proponents of Prohibition included many women reformers, who were concerned about alcohol's link to wife beating and child abuse, and industrialists, such as Henry Ford, who were concerned about the impact of drinking on labor productivity. Advocates of Prohibition argued that outlawing drinking would eliminate corruption, end machine politics, and help Americanize immigrants.

Prohibition Enforcement Since 1927

PROHIBITION ENFORCEMENT SINCE 1927

(a) The Bureau of Prohibition Act, 1927

Following the hearing before the Senate Committee, Congress, by act of March 3, 1927, known as "the Bureau of Prohibition Act" (44 Stats. 1381) created in the Department of the Treasury two bureaus a Bureau of Customs and a Bureau of Prohibition each under a commissioner; authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to appoint in each bureau one assistant commissioner, two deputy commissioners, one chief clerk, and such other officers and employees as he might deem necessary, and provided that the appointments should be subject to the provisions of the Civil Service laws and the salaries be fixed in accordance with the classification act of 1923. The Commissioner of Prohibition, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, was authorized to appoint in the Bureau of Prohibition such employees in the field service as he might deem necessary, but it was expressly enacted that all appointments of such employees were to be made subject to the provisions of the Civil Service laws, notwithstanding the provisions of Section 38 of the National Prohibition Act. The term of office of any person who was transferred under this section to the Bureau of Prohibition, and who was not appointed subject to the provision of the Civil Service laws, was made to expire on the expiration of six months from the effective date of the Act, i.e, April 1, 1927.

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Countless authors, historians, journalists, and screenwriters have written about the prohibition era, an age of jazz and speakeasies, gangsters and bootleggers. But only a few have explored what happened when governments turned the taps back on.

Prohibition Facts

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Prohibition in Canada

Alcohol Prohibition of 1927

Prohibition was the result of generations of effort by temperance workers to close bars and taverns, which were the source of much drunkenness and misery in an age before social welfare existed.

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